Top 12 PHP Development Tools and Tips


Most developers have their go-to PHP development tools, libraries, and best practices to streamline workflows and create clean, lean code. So, we asked our developers to let us in on their favorites. Here are their top tools, tips, and tricks to help you create great apps.

1. Use PHPUnit for unit testing to catch bugs.

-Elisha, Front-End Developer

2. Utilize the PHPStorm text editor optimized for programming in PHP.

-Jesse, Front-End Developer

3. Avoid long running scripts that will be terminated by the server. Don’t increase server max limitation as a solution. And don’t suppress warnings.

-Steve, CTO

4. Use Composer to better manage app dependencies.

Ryan, Full-Stack Developer

5. Be aware of server-side PHP logic when used in a web server that caches the output as HTML.

Elisha, Front-End Developer

6. Interface with SQL databases easily using the phpMyAdmin graphic interface.

-Nuriel, UI/UX Designer

7. Bookmark this handy chart that shows the difference between == and ===. Keep in mind the equations are not commutative:

[code]”php” == 0 -> True
0 == null -> True
“php” == null -> FALSE WHAT?![/code]

-Steven, Front-End/Full-Stack Developer

8. Watch SQL injections…use PDO or like libraries and sanitize user input/output to prevent malicious code from running.

Ryan, Full-Stack Developer & Elisha, Front-End Developer

9. PHP security tip: obfuscate code for encryption with ionCube library for files.

-Nuriel, UI/UX Designer

10. Use PHP cors proxy library for API server.

-Elisha, Front-End Developer

11. Debug with Xdebug PHP debugger and profiler tool.

-Jesse, Front-End Developer

12. Use mt_rand over rand for random numbers, and be aware of a rand generator for a server that caches the output as HTML again.

Ryan, Full-Stack Developer & Elisha, Front-End Developer

Elisha Terada

Elisha Terada

Technical Innovation Director

Over the last ten years, Elisha has worked closely with clients to pinpoint business growth opportunities using the latest tech innovations. He’s managed and engineered as a core contributor on more than ten SaaS products leveraging web, mobile, and machine learning technologies.

Elisha holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington, is a Certified ScrumMaster, and has spoken at industry events including AIGA HIVE Seattle.

An innovator at heart, he is constantly exploring emerging technology.